Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blog 1: Kenyan Deputy President to be tried by the International Criminal Court

The international Criminal Court which was created with the intent of trying those indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity have begun the trial against the Deputy President of Kenya and plan to hold a trial for the President in the coming months for crimes against humanity. In 2007 an election was held in Kenya. Following the election in which the current Deputy President William Ruto lost, widespread violence occurred that displaced many and killed thousands. The ICC claims that Ruto formed an alliance with others to propagate violence against ethnic groups that had supported the winning party in order to end up gaining power for himself. Ruto is said to have used media to spout anti- Kikuyu messages and use the media to send out coded messages for coordinated attacks.
In addition to all of this, the court has faced many setbacks to the trial due to the fact that the accused is now the deputy president and claims that he cannot leave Kenya at the same time as the President for the trial. Many witnesses have also dropped out due to intimidation. The Kenyan government has even tried to remove itself from association with the International Criminal Court as a means to stop the trial.
This article brings so many problems to light. Ruto is charged for causing violence based on ethnicity. He was drawing on ethnocentric principles to create an “us” versus “them” mentality among the citizens of Kenya. If history is any example, allowing for the lines to be drawn between peoples only leads to discrimination and worse. According to the UN declaration of human rights “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” and “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” by helping to create violence that terrorized and harmed so many, he violated their most basic rights as human beings.  He is now using his power as a means to escape trial and punishment for his actions and intimidate victims into staying quiet. Since the trial is being held by an international court, by avoiding the trial or just trying to remove Kenya from its jurisdiction just gives a green light for other leaders around the world to the same and it undermines the whole ideal of the international agreements to certain rules and regulations. If the world sits idly and allows these atrocities to happen, who is to say someone else cannot do the same thing somewhere else?
Nicole Egna        
1:50 pm

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